When a hurricane bears down, there's only so much that can be done against the destruction and loss of life that the storm's heavy winds and rains can cause.
Here are the recorded U.S. hurricanes that have claimed the most lives, according to the National Weather Service.
30. Hurricane Floyd
Hurricane Floyd killed 56 people in September 1999. The storm, which hit North Carolina as a Category 2 before making its way up to New England, led to the third largest evacuation in U.S. history.
Here, a North Carolina resident walks in the surf next to a beach house that was destroyed.
29. Hurricane Carol
Hurricane Carol killed 60 people in August 1954. The storm particularly affected New England as one of its worst storms on record.
This photo shows houses submerged and boats pushed up on shore in Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts.
28. Great Atlantic hurricane
This hurricane killed 64 people in September 1944. Here, people struggle to fight its winds in New York City.
At its peak, the hurricane reached maximum sustained winds of 145 mph.
The practice of giving major storms a name did not become regular until 1953.
27. Hurricane Betsy
Betsy left 75 people dead in September 1965.
The storm battered Florida and the Gulf Coast and was the first in the Atlantic basin to cause more than $1 billion in damage.
Highway 90, between New Orleans and Gulfport, Mississippi, shown here, was blocked by debris.
26. Hurricane Hazel
Hazel killed 95 people in October 1954. The storm made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane on the North Carolina-South Carolina border, shown here.
It already had left 400 people dead in Haiti and went on to kill 81 in Canada.
25. Hurricane Agnes
Hurricane Agnes killed 122 people across eight states in the eastern part of the country in June 1972. At the time, Agnes was the costliest hurricane to date.
Here, people in Pennsylvania flee their flooded homes by boat.
24. Cedar Keys hurricane
The Cedar Keys hurricane killed 130 people in September 1896. It made landfall in Florida, but brought destruction up the entire East Coast.
This photo shows residents of Fernandina, Florida, a coastal town that was devastated by the storm.
23. 1906 Mississippi hurricane
The 1906 Mississippi hurricane left 134 people dead after it hit Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama and Florida in September of that year.
Pensacola, Florida, pictured here, suffered the most damage.
22. Indianola hurricane
The Indianola hurricane killed 150 people in August 1886.
It was the second major hurricane to hit the bustling Gulf Coast town of Indianola, Texas, in 11 years. The town was later abandoned.
21. Florida Keys hurricane
The Florida Keys hurricane left 164 people dead in October 1906.
The Florida East Coast Railway, pictured, suffered extensive damage and lost dozens of workers.
20. 1875 Indianola hurricane
The 1875 hurricane that hit Indianola, Texas, left 176 people dead. The town rebuilt after the storm only to be hit by another major hurricane in 1886, which wiped out all but two of the town's buildings.
19. 1898 Georgia hurricane
The 1898 Georgia hurricane killed 179 people.
Brunswick, pictured, was most affected; a 16-foot surge was recorded.
18. Hurricane Diane
Diane killed 184 people when it hit the East Coast in August 1955.
Here, high tide caused by Diane send a high spray into the air as it pounds the jetties at the mouth of St. Johns River in Florida.
17. 1938 New England hurricane
The 1938 New England hurricane left 256 people dead. It is still the most powerful and deadliest hurricane in New England's recorded history.
Island Park, Rhode Island, pictured here, was destroyed by a massive 30- to 40-foot wave caused by the storm.
16. Hurricane Camille
Camille was the second-most intense tropical cyclone on record to make landfall in the U.S. The storm killed 256 people when it barreled through Louisiana and Mississippi.
Here, survivors of the storm survey the wreckage of their house, in which two other people died.
15. 1915 Galveston hurricane
The 1915 Galveston hurricane killed 275 people. It made landfall in Texas as what would now be considered a Category 4 storm.
14. 1915 New Orleans hurricane
The 1915 New Orleans hurricane made landfall in September of that year and killed 275 people.
This photo shows the damage the storm caused to the Poland Station streetcar barn.
13. 1919 Florida Keys hurricane
The 1919 Florida Keys hurricane moved slowly over Florida and South Texas in September, killing 287 people.
12. 1909 Grand Isle hurricane
The 1909 Grand Isle hurricane caused the most damage in Louisiana and Mississippi and left 350 people dead.
This photo shows what remains of a house in Biloxi, Mississippi.
11. Great Miami hurricane
The Great Miami hurricane killed 372 people and left thousands homeless in September 1926.
10. Last Island hurricane
The Last Island hurricane killed 400 people when it swept over the Louisiana coast in August 1856.
The island itself was so badly battered that it was reduced to several sandbars.
9. Labor Day hurricane
The Great Labor Day hurricane killed 208 people when it battered Florida in September 1935.
The storm was, at the time, the most intense hurricane ever to make landfall in the U.S.
8. Hurricane Audrey
Hurricane Audrey left 416 people dead in Louisiana and Texas in June 1957.
Many boats were tossed ashore or sunk during the storm.
7. Georgia/South Carolina hurricane
The Georgia/South Carolina hurricane of August 1881 was particularly destructive because it made landfall at high tide. At least 700 people were killed in the storm.
6. Sea Islands hurricane
The Sea Islands hurricane killed at least 1,000 people when it struck Savannah, Georgia, with a powerful storm surge in August 1893.
5. Chenière Caminada hurricane
This hurricane obliterated the island of Chenière Caminada, Louisiana, in October 1893. Only one home was left in its wake. The storm killed at least 1,100 people.
4. Hurricane Katrina
Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast in August 2005. The National Weather Service put the number of deaths directly attributable to the storm at about 1,200, while other widely cited reports topped 1,800.
The greatest devastation occurred in New Orleans and other Louisiana communities, but Mississippi, Alabama and Florida were also impacted. The destruction was mostly due to flooding from storm surge and levee failures.
Here, authorities comb through a devastated New Orleans for bodies.
3. 1928 Okeechobee hurricane
At least 2,500 people died when the 1928 Okeechobee hurricane swept over Puerto Rico and the southern United States. A great number of houses and buildings were swept away in the storm.
2. Hurricane Maria
Hurricane Maria slammed into Puerto Rico as a Category 4 on September 20, 2017, causing widespread damage and power outages that lasted for months. After initially reporting that 64 people were killed, the island officially raised the death toll to 2,975 in August 2018, based on the results of a new study.
1. Great Galveston Hurricane
A large part of Galveston, Texas, was reduced to rubble, as shown in this photo, after being hit by a surprise hurricane on September 8, 1900.
At least 8,000 people were killed, and some estimates range as high as 12,000, making it the deadliest natural disaster in U.S. history. More than 10,000 people were left homeless.